Hearing loss isn’t all the same. There are various levels of hearing loss, as well as different types of hearing loss. There are three main types of hearing loss: conductive, sensorineural, and mixed. They are broken down according to which part of your hearing is damaged.
Conductive Hearing Loss
Conductive hearing loss is typically the result of an obstruction in the outer or middle ear. Sound is unable to get to the inner ear. The obstruction could be due to a variety of things, from something simple like easily removed fluid or earwax, to a tumor or an ear formation. Conductive hearing loss can be corrected most of the time with medication or surgery to move the obstruction.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Of the three types of hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss is the most common. Sensorineural hearing loss is a result of damaged inner ear nerves and hair cells. Because of this, the pathway from your inner ear to your brain is impacted. This is caused by a variety of factors, such as the normal aging process, noise exposure, medications, heredity, and certain health conditions like stroke, meningitis, or diabetes. It can also be caused by another factor entirely. Unfortunately, surgery or medication typically cannot correct this to restore hearing. However, sensorineural hearing loss can be managed by using hearing aids.
Mixed Hearing Loss
Mixed hearing loss is a combination of both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. That means that not only is the outer or middle ear affected, but the inner ear is as well.
Degrees of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is broken down into four clinically labeled degrees: mild, moderate, severe, and profound. At the mild level, you will have the most trouble with soft sounds. At the moderate level, you will likely struggle when someone is speaking directly to you at a normal volume. At the severe level, you will most likely not hear speech even when it is spoken to you at a normal volume, and you will struggle to hear anything other than loud sounds. Profound hearing loss means that you probably don’t hear anything at all, other than perhaps extremely loud sounds.
It’s good to have an idea of the level of hearing loss you’re experiencing when you head in to see your audiologist. You can schedule an appointment with us here: https://amdahlhearing.com/